Bruins host Cougars in playoff tuneup

By: Journal Sports Staff
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The Bear River High football team has won three straight games, including a 44-13 stomping at Lincoln last week, to secure a playoff berth. But the Bruins ( 7-2 overall, 4-1 Pioneer Valley League) won’t be resting on their laurels tonight when El Dorado (4-5, 2-3) comes to town. If Bear River beats the Cougars tonight and Placer beats Whitney, the Bruins and Wildcats would tie for the PVL title. Bear River has outscored opponents 106-34 over its last three games. Quarterback Tanner Mathias needs 164 passing yards, 16 more than his nightly average, to reach 1,500 for the season. Running back Jason Varni is sitting on 931 yards and 19 touchdowns, second only to Zach Graves of Whitney (27 TDs) in the PVL. If the Cougars beat the Bruins and Colfax and Placer both lose, El Dorado can steal the PVL’s third playoff berth. El Dorado needs only 74 yards to surpass the 3,000 rushing yard plateau tonight. C.J. Wheeler (854 yards, 10 touchdowns) and Trevor Peterson (783 yards, four touchdowns) lead the potent ground game. Oakmont (2-7, 0-4) at Del Oro (3-6, 1-3) The Golden Eagles snapped a three-game skid last week in a 31-14 rout of Rocklin despite having been eliminated from playoff contention two weeks ago. It was a welcome sight for head coach Casey Taylor, whose Eagles have blown leads in five of their six losses this fall, squandering second-half advantages in four of those five. Del Oro hasn’t had trouble generating offense, but has committed 16 turnovers. Quarterback Mason Magleby has already reached the 1,500-yard passing plateau and rushed in excess of 600 more, while junior surprise Bryce Pratt needs only a nominal performance to reach 1,000 rushing yards in his first varsity season. Fresh off a 45-6 loss to Granite Bay, the Vikings are looking for some company in the SFL cellar. They’ve lost six straight since a 2-1 start, averaging fewer than nine points per game during the stretch. Matt Ewing leads the Vikings with 410 yards and three touchdowns on 80 carries, all of which are team offensive highs. Colfax (5-4, 2-3) at Lincoln (1-8, 1-4) Even if the Falcons beat the Fighting Zebras tonight, they’ll need a loss by Placer to guarantee their playoff spot. The Hillmen beat Colfax 34-28 last week to keep their hopes alive. Lincoln can eliminate the Falcons tonight, but it will need much more than its net average of 160 offensive yards. Colfax’s air tandem of Spencer Lewis and Jeff Divine will need another stellar game against a Zebras defense that can challenge the pass. Lewis has already completed 147 of 241 passes for 2025 yards and 19 touchdowns. Divine has caught 13 of those scoring strikes and leads all PVL receivers with 1,124 yards. Golden Sierra (4-5) at Capital Christian (4-4) The third and final playoff berth out of the Golden Empire League is up for grabs tonight in Sacramento. The Grizzlies started 1-2 in the GEL, but a win tonight would give them a 4-2 league mark and clinch a tie for second in the league. Capital Christian faces the same scenario, needing a win to finish 4-2 in league play. Golden Sierra’s rushing attack has cranked out more than 2,500 yards, led by Jason Triola (708). Conversely, the Cougars relay on the pass as quarterback James Lee has amassed 2,222 yards through the air. North Hills Christian (2-7) at Foresthill (4-4) The Wildfires close out the season tonight and though the playoffs are not within reach, Foresthill can clinch the first winning season in school history. Foresthill finished 4-5 in 2006, but they’ll look to better that mark against the visitors from Vallejo, who have lost three in a row. The Wildfires have won two straight, including a thrilling 26-24 win over Delta on Oct. 31